Make Believe

An Installation with Students At Gallaudet University


Artists Statement:

As mixed media artists, we craft objects that tell a story. We use metal, cloth, clay, plaster, paper and paint to suggest a narrative. Sometimes a found object may start the process. An old key, a glove, a hat, a lunch box or ball of twine may initiate the imagining. Perhaps a text may claim us. A song lyric, a poet's language, a fragment from a letter from home, or a folk tale or myth might start the process. An image may be the catalyst. It may be from art history, family history, the view of a favorite place, person or thing. "Make Believe" is our challenge to Gallaudet art students. We are excited to see what you imagine and make to occupy this space with us.

Thank you Gallaudet and especially Peggy Reichard and Bill Moses for inviting us here and for the for sharing your students, your exhibition space, and your resources with us.


Dress, you are braver than I

Red in grain, you'll not fade

Though you should be laid

In an oak chest, by and by.


Others shall lift you thence

To the patter and stir

Of shrivelled lavender,

With female reverence


Murmuring in awed tone:

'So rare the web, so rich

The broiderer's stitch on stitch,

See, it will stand alone!'


Good dress, I charge you, be

In other time, other place,

To some woman of my race

True as you were to me.


In the warfare of sex

Be at eye's onset

Like the ring of a trumpet,

To challenge and perplex;


When souls clash in the fray,

To the breast at stake a shield

Whose scarlet shall not yield

Nor leak of blood betray;


And in that hour surprising

When the heart's garrison

Know themselves undone,

A flag still flying.

Sylvia Townsend Warner


red Dress imge

Sylvia Townsend Warner's opening line, "Dress you are braver than I" inspired this larger than life bold red dress. The 23' atrium of Washburn Art Center encouraged the scale.

The small dress hanging in the bell of the skirt was a sampler working with muslin, paint, and alphabet stamps. The larger garment grew around it. We conducted numerous experiments stenciling and stamping text on cloth. These strips of printed cloth are draped over the petticoat of steel strapping bands. The papier mache torso was cast on a hand made cardboard form based on a larger dress dummy. The arms are craft paper wetted, crumpled, painted and sewn. The beaded bag is from a box of flea market treasures.





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